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Religion debases and dehumanises - Exhibit 1

05 February 2013, 16:03

A little girl called Lamia was brought to hospital with a crushed skull, broken back, broken ribs and left arm.  The child’s rectum had been torn open, and her abuser had tried to burn it shut.  A social worker said that the girl had been raped ‘everywhere’, which sounds like vaginal, anal and facial rape.  She was admitted into the hospital on Christmas day and died almost 11 months later.  The perpetrator was her father, a Saudi man. 

According to Saudi law, which is based on the local Islamic tradition, he was pardoned because a father, being the source of his daughter’s life, can’t be held responsible for the life he takes since it is the same life he has given.  This seems to provide a license to treat one’s children with exactly the sort of barbarism described in this paragraph. And the result of this crime has been to cover infants in burkha's to protect them from being murdered and raped (since prevention is possible, cure apparently not).

Read about the story here if you haven't already:

But how is such dehumanising behaviour possible?  How is it possible that for the crime of murder, and rape, and such cruel and patently evil abuse of a small child the perpetrator, the father, can be asked only to pay a moderate some of money to the girl’s mother?  And a lesser sum than if it were a male child?

The father himself, who is an Islamic preacher, and something of a celebrity guest on Muslim TV, initially claimed he doubted his small daughter’s virginity, and maintained he had her checked by a medic…who apparently needed to burn her, break her back and other limbs to verify the pre-teen’s virginity.  He later confessed to the crime himself, and was released with a small fine.

How is such dehumanising behaviour possible?  There are a number of reasons.  Religion both prevents the ordinary expression of human desires, and, as in this case, excuses them at their most diabolical.  Religion denies and drives human behaviour.  It condemns the sinful and at the same time offers redemption, which is a perfect system as long as it can claim full monopoly rights.

In the Christian bible it says that to look at a woman lustfully is a sin, and akin to adultery.  Strange that a woman is apparently allowed to look at a man lustfully, but not vice versa?  Also strange that adultery is only possible if at least one person is married.

Is it possible for relationships to take place if neither men nor women are allowed to even look at each other with desirous intentions?  It seems whoever is writing these ‘norms’ is a closeted person of some sort who does not understand normal social behaviour, and wants to shut down others too. 

It also echoes the bible which seems to indicate a God who knowing full well the fallibility of men, nevertheless provides a scenario for the eternal damnation and punishment of his creation, knowing full well (being omniscient etc) that not all of his creation have a hope of hitting the mark.

Religions are dressed up in clothing that claims to value human life.  It pretends to place codes of conduct, and be the sole source of good morals.  How would you know how to behave without a God to guide you?  Well why is it that the most secular countries are statistically the happiest, healthiest and wealthiest. They're the most crime free.  They have the lowest incidences or rape, murder and other anti-social crimes.  Or put another way, the most secular countries are also the most functional. 

The most religious countries, like Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the USA, South Africa and Israel, have a lot of intractable problems that never seem to go away.  In these countries a disturbing number of people are preachers.  Preachers don’t build communities, they divide them.  They either insulate or isolate their communities against the world, or against any other group that one could say are ‘Other’.  They teach - indoctrinate is a better word - social discrimination. The result is that any human being brought up in these traditions can begin to dehumanise the other, saying I know better than you, my God is real, my truth is real, my life and my claim to life is valid, yours is false, thus…I may ignore your right to life, or property etc.  It is a recipe for war.  It is a recipe for poverty of the human spirit.  It is a recipe for the ongoing degradation of our species.  It is a formula for infinite arguing.

And who profits from this?  The preacher.  And to some extent the cult that follows him.  Who loses? The world.  The truth. Every human being, every precious organism.  The path of our species is hamstrung and weighed down by a milestone.  We are impinged by perversities at an ordinary social level, at a global level entire nations seek to undermine others in the name of truth, and the sacred.  It is one big lie masquerading as the truth.

It is not difficult to see that an ordinary person, with no religion, knows basic human manners.  It is not difficult to see that an ordinary person, with no religion, needs no reason, and finds no cause to murder and rape his own child.  It’s not difficult to see that an ordinary person, with no religion, can find common sense, and ordinary moral fibre, from their own parents, their own education, from their own nature and from the good they see in their society. 

It is plain to see that religion does not save us, religion does not aid us, religion does not empower us with knowledge – but the opposite.  Religions – all traditional religions without exception – impoverish us.  And in our ignorance, we are eager to be ruled.  In our poverty, we have little to lose in our debauchery, and the idea of salvation from our ‘unnatural;’ perversities actually makes sense. 

In short, the nonsensical nature of religion, makes nonsense of our own human nature, as the first paragraph clearly demonstrates.  Religion is a prime ingredient behind serial killers, war mongers and the abusers that fuel themselves from the fount of The Dark Heart of Man. The opposite is the light of real life.  The way to that light is through courage.  The truth is like the sun.  Hard to look at in the face.  Brilliant. Powerful.  Life giving, life-sustaining, life changing.  But also dispassionate.  A dispassionate world is a far better place than the lie of religion, which sells, and wishes to perpetuate a living death, a hell on earth, and an eternal pleasure and reward in heaven, a life after death, which does not exist.

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